Over a million people in the UK are currently caring for someone with cancer at any one time. This statistic may be shocking and it is still increasing, although some of the figures are more positive. The proportion of people who survive cancer is also gradually increasing, and we have millions more people in the country right now who have survived the disease. However, the point where these groups of people interact is still somewhat blurred with uncertainty, and despite our improving methods for battling cancer, many people still don’t have access to the help they need, whether they are patients or carers.
A major factor involved with this problem is that the social side of cancer care is so often overlooked. From the moment someone is diagnosed, their needs quickly become complex and this goes far beyond immediate medical needs. Someone coping with a diagnosis will mostly likely need a lot of emotional support, but identifying this need (and offering a solution if there is not a simple one to hand) may not be easy for a professional, let alone friends and family members who don’t even consider themselves carers. Continue reading The social side of cancer care